Praying with Confidence- a guest post from Renee Swope & Devotional GIVEAWAY

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I’m so thrilled to have my friend, Renee Swope, of Proverbs 31 Ministries, visiting with us. Her book “A Confident Heart” is one of my favorites that I turn to time and time again. She has such a GREAT message for us today. Drink it in!

“This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.” (1 John 5:14 NASB)

I used to be hesitant to pray. Not really knowing what to say, I would stumble over my words when talking to God. I especially didn’t know how to pray when struggling with uncertainty and doubts.

Yet, I desperately wanted to say the right things because I thought: If I pray the right way, then God will listen and answer my prayers the way I want Him to.

That would be called performance-based prayers. A remnant from my childhood I’m sure.

Eventually, when I was in my twenties, I got up the courage to talk with my pastor’s wife about my fears and struggles. She explained that prayer isn’t about saying or asking the right things; it’s about building a relationship with God by talking to Him and listening.

She also taught me how to take scriptures from the Bible and turn them into prayers. I tried it, and loved the new sense of confidence and direction it gave me when I didn’t know what to say to God.

One day I was reading 1 John 5:14 and noticed how the Bible says we can pray with confidence when we ask God for what is already part of His will: “This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us” (NASB).

With this in mind, I realized I would be praying God’s will when I prayed His Word.

Oftentimes when I pray now, verses I’ve read in the Bible will come to mind. For instance, recently I felt like my plans were spinning out of control, and Jeremiah 29:11 popped into my thoughts. On days like that, I’ll pray something like this:

“Lord, you know the plans you have for me,plans to prosper me and not to harm me, plans to give me a future and a hope. You say that if I come to you and pray, you will listen and you will lead me. So, today I surrender my plans for Your plans. Please guide my decisions and thoughts to match Yours so that I can experience hope and notharm. Even though things aren’t going so great today, I trust the plans You have for me.

I love knowing there is not a certain way I have to pray to get God’s attention. In fact, praying and talking to God has become one of my favorite things to do – whether alone or with a friend. I don’t feel any pressure to say the right things anymore. Sometimes I just sit still and let Him whisper His promises into my thoughts and then I ask for their fufillment in my prayers.

Lord, I’m so glad I don’t have to say that right things to get your attention. Thank You for Your Spirit that lives in me and leads me – in my daily activities and even in my prayers. Please show me verses You want me to pray today so I can see Your Word come alive in my circumstances and become active in my life. In Jesus Name, Amen.

When I sayI don’t know what to say when I pray.

God says… Just talk to Me and pray through my promises today.

“This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.” (1 John 5:14 NASB)

* Renee’s post is a partial excerpt from her new Confident Heart Devotional book, used with permission from Revell Books.

Renee has been married for over 20 years to her husband J.J. She is the mom of two teenage boys and a five-year-old Ethiopian princess their family adopted in 2009. Renee is also a best-selling author, speaker and radio co-host with Proverbs 31 Ministries.

ACH Devo standing up About Renee’s NEW Confident Heart Devotional:
Expanding on her best-selling book, A Confident Heart, Renee Swope has written a new 60-day devotional that will encourage, empower and equip you to live confidently in your God-given roles, relationships, and responsibilities! Each devotion features a new “When I Say…God Says…” statement, prayer and a promise to guide your thoughts and emotions that day. PLUS you will love the easy-reference chart that includes all sixty ”When I Say…God Says…” statements!

Enter to WIN a signed copy TODAY!

  • Enter to win a signed copy of Renee’s new Confident Heart Devotional book by sharing in the comments: Share your thoughts and let us know what friend you’d give it to, if you won 2 copies. Winners will be announced Monday.

ENTER the Let God Love You Contest:
Find out how you can WIN a $50 gift card, 2 additional signed copies of Renee’s devotional book, and a beautiful 8×10 print from Emily Burger Designs at


  1. I would love to win this!! I would share a copy with a friend I just went through an amazing journey with! We hosted a baby from Africa that was here for medical reasons and just went home today!

  2. I’d share a copy with one of my story time mom’s, Judy. (I’m a children’s librarian and this particular mom and I have connected on sharing our testimonies and everything God has done and continues to do for us. She’s a complete joy, can’t wait to see her every week, and am so thankful God brought her into my life.)

  3. Sent here from Renee Swope’s blog…

    I’d share a copy with my pastor’s wife. She never expected to be a pastor’s wife and could use some truths like this spoken into her life.

  4. Mippy/Sabrina says:

    HI! Renee Swope sent me. You are a new to me blog 🙂 O’d love to have this devotional book to help me start my day off in a positive way, esp when I have bad days. I’d love to share this with my friend’s wife. 🙂

  5. Hi Rachel! I want to thank you for sharing Renee’s blog for her 2 signed book givaway. That was my first bible study and I learned so much from it. I then got the devotional ebook on Friday!! Awewsome!! Thanks again. Later!

  6. I have read Renee’s book A Confident Heart 2x and look forward to ready the devotion book. I have met Renee a couple of years ago at a church event. I love her honesty. I would give one of the books to our church library.

  7. I have been working on praying more…just sharing my heart with Him. I would give a copy to my friend Rachel who has truly been a gift from God since I have met her.

  8. Susan Smith-Allen says:

    Hi Rachel! I am hopping over to you from Renee Swope’s Blog to thank you, along with Renee, for sharing an excerpt on her “A Confident Heart 60 Day Devotional” book. I got the e-book FREE on Valentine’s Day and I love it! I hope a lot of people get it and read it. It’s very encouraging and helpful. It’s a great message on God’s LOVE and it also shows us to not have self-doubt, and so much more……Susan Smith-Allen

  9. Susan Gruener says:

    Hi Rachel,
    I have enjoyed reading your wonderful testimony. God is so good. I just hopped onto your blog from Renee’s blog. 🙂
    Her book is awesome and it was life changing for me, even after having know Jesus for many years. God does just want a relationship with HIm. You are so right on when you talk about praying His Word – I know it gets His attention. 🙂 If I won Renee’s book I would give one to Allison, my daughter…if I won two I would give the other to Paula, my sweet friend who moved…
    Much love,

  10. Cathy McCoy says:

    Hi! I linked over from Renee Swopes page/email. Thanks for sharing. I’m reading A Confident Heart and would love copies of the devotional. I have more than one person I can think of to give a copy to so I can’t narrow it down. I’ve finally realized just over the last couple of years just how much God really loves me and I don’t have to be “perfect” as I grew up thinking I had to be. What freedom!

  11. Jackie Smith says:

    I know I would love having this book…..Renee’s posts mean so much to me.
    I would give a second copy to a dear friend, former pastor’s wife, who is such a blessing to me.
    Thanks for the giveaway.

  12. liked Renee’s reference to performance based prayers of her past –
    so important to move on from that to the Love relationship God desires…

    I’d love to give copies to my 2 Amys – daughter and daughter in law =)
    Thank youfor your generosity, Renee, and for your lovely hosting, Rachel !

  13. Marilyn Lisenbee says:

    I loved the book and would love to have the devotional.

  14. Renee’s book A Confident Heart has impacted me greatly. Learning the empowerment that comes from knowing God and trusting that He is who He says He is has boosted my own confidence and my relationship with God. Renee’s devotional would be a blessing for many friends who need the same encouragement.

  15. I would give one of the books to my best friend, Karen and the other one to my sweet mom, Quilla. I really loved reading your blog post. Have a blessed weekend!

  16. I loved Renee’s book A Confident Heart so I know I would enjoy the daily readings in this devotional. I would love to share a copy with Kirsten, who is a young woman getting ready to go off to college – this devotional would bless her!

  17. Enjoyed the message as it hits right where I struggle…aligning what I want to God’s will. My best friend are always talking about God and his blessings and teachings. She would enjoy this book too.

  18. Susan Smith-Allen says:

    Dear Rachel–I downloaded the e-book “A Confident Heart Devotional”. If I won two of these books signed by Renee Swope–I would share the one I keep to many friends–especially my cousin, Marian. She has been such a special friend to me since my dad and mom died 10 years ago. She took me under her wing for the Thanksgivings and Christmases each year, also Easter. She opened her home and family up to me to include me as part of their own I would love for her to read this Devotional to let her know how special she really is. I would love to give one copy to my best friend for 40 years–Chrissy who lives 800 miles away from me–We have kept in touch all these years. She and I both have doubts of our worth at times–we both live alone–she in Virginia and me in upstate New York. I love her so much and know she would appreciate the verse–1Peter 2:9– to remind her, as well as me, that we are God’s possession–He paid for us because of His love for us. Thank you for your website. I’m glad I found it. Susan

    1. Just beautiful, Susan. Thank you for sharing and what a wonderful share the devotional would be with your friend!

  19. Erin Smith says:

    This sounds so lovely! I have been finding it hard to pray these days, and I want to pray, I love talking to God. It just seems hard.
    I would give on to my grandmother, she is struggling with the possibility of her cancer coming back.
    God bless you!

  20. cathleen rafalko says:

    I love devo books and try to have family devo time before I send my two 2nd graders and 5th grader off to school… I would give one to my best friend Danielle who is a growing believer and a seeker mom I know from school who just lost her job. THanks for your blog and encouragements! I also am raising two boys and a girl and look forward to some parenting tips 🙂

  21. Darlene R. says:

    I so struggle with prayer, I tend to feel guilty asking for things all the time. I do give thanks and am grateful, trying to find a balance is hard. If I were to win the books I would bless my daughter in law with the second one, she’s been struggling to find the perfect devotional. Thanks for this chance. Be Blessed!

  22. Too funny, I am reading confident heart right now. Soooo good, l have 2 young adult daughters and have told them all about her book and that they should download it and read it. I think it is diffenatley a game changer. Thanks Renee, your words have spoke volums

  23. Prayer is a discipline I struggle with having no real religion growing up. I just always feel like I’m not doing it right or something, even though I KNOW there is no one right way…

    I’d share your book with my friend Sarah, who has struggled with feelings of doubt in motherhood like we all do.

  24. I just finished reading her book of being a confident woman. It would be so great to have this book to compliment what I’ve been learning so far. Renee has done an amazing job connecting with me, as an everyday woman. I know her books on praying would be beneficial to all women no matter their stage in life.

  25. I would love to win a copy of Renee’s “A Confident Heart Devotional”!! If I won two copies, I would give one to my best friend who just lost her Mother. She has lost her husband, two sons and now her Mom! The second copy would go to my sister who has given up her home and life as she knew it (she will be 72 in June) to care for our other sister’s teenage daughter. We lost my sister to cancer just six months ago!! I know they would both find such comfort in Renee’s book.

  26. I would so much love to win a copy of this devotional!! And if I won two, I’d have to give the other to my best friend. We both need constant encouragement from God’s Word!

  27. Great thoughts on prayer. Struggle with confidence and don’t think ever thought about praying with confidence. Would give second copy to my little sister.

  28. veda goushaw says:

    Boy, I just realized last night after my hubby shared with me something he is readin “better”

    hat the reason I do not open up to friends and have become almost completely isolated is because I do not trust people…….anyone! I don’t share a lot of my feelings with my husband either and we’ve been married 52 yrs.i just don’t think anyone would truly accept me if they knew the real me. I’ve prayed for peace but it doesn’t come! I realize now that my not trusting is really fear….fear of rejection, criticism, not being loved……but I know fear does not come from God! How do I learn to trust? So I can be part of a community? Something I want and need but so afraid of being rejected,
    I have the book. ‘A Confident Heart’ but can’t seem to get past the first couple of pages…..
    If I were to get 2 books I would share one with a friend who is floundering in a new city, state, and doesn’t have a community yet herself!
    thanks for listening to me drone on and on!

    1. Oh Veda! My heart breaks for you. God’s got something for you in “The Confident Heart” book- I just know it! Prayers for a new freedom in Christ for you today.

  29. I still consider myself a ‘baby’ Christian and knowing how to pray has been a struggle. I loved this post – thank you! I have a wonderful friend and mentor that I would give a copy to – I’m sure she would love it too.

  30. I also struggle with performance based praying. I’m learning how to overcome this by doing just as you said and praying God’s word. I think this devotional would be a great help to me through this learning curve. I’d give the extra copy to my friend Shelly. 🙂

  31. Kathy Earley says:

    I love talking with God just like I would to a friend over coffee. In fact God and I Do talk over coffee. I would not have survived the trials in my life had it not been for God’s Mercy and Grace! I thank him everyday and give Him all the glory.

    If I won 2 copies, I’d give one to my dear friend who is working with me to get a women’s ministry started our church. This endeavor has required lots of faith and confidence. Thank you for the opportunity.

  32. My friend, Byrn and I have been looking for a study to do together after finishing Jen Hatmaker’s 7 so this would be great to share!

  33. Polly Schneider says:

    I love Renee’s book “A Confident Heart” and the devotional would be great for reminders of what I read in it. I would give one to my daughter too. It would be a great confidence builder for her. Thanks for this opportunity to win.

  34. I stumbled onto your blog through a pin on Pinterest and I have found several great resources here to help me in my walk with Christ. So thank you and God Bless you for all you do for your readers! I came to Christ late in life and feel overwhelmed, I have a very busy life and struggle to find the time to devote to prayer and study that I feel God deserves. I still don’t feel comfortable praying because I didn’t grow up doing it. I’ve gotten better at it, but the part about “listening” to God is still a foreign concept to me. I would love to win the copy of this book as I think it would be such a blessing and very helpful in my spiritual growth, and if I were to win two copies I would give one to my friend who is also my pastor’s wife and has admitted struggling with prayer sometimes like I do.

    Thank you!

  35. I am working on learning to pray with scriptures. I grew up using memorized prayer. In my teens I learned just to speak to the Lord. Now I want to continue to grow in my prayers. If I did win this, I would give a copy to my sister.

  36. Rachel and Renee, thank you for a lovely post. Would love a copy of your book to showcase at a Women’s Night of Prayer I am doing at a local church in March. Having practiced Catholic tradition my entire life has been a gift and teaching women to pray and grow closer to God is icing on the cake. Your insight is very relatable and ease to apply to the prayer journey. Thank you.

  37. I have many friends that would be grateful for the book. One is a new believer and another is my close friend Kristy

  38. I love praying God’s word, but Satan tries to sabatage the power behind my prayers by demeaning my self worth. This week has been a struggle and this devotional would be water to a thirsty soul. I believe my daughter would benefit from this as well. She is married with three young chiller and has begun homeschooling the oldest. It would encourage her heart! Thank you!


  39. Jackie Ferner says:

    I am just starting on my spiritual journey with Christ. I was raised catholic but never learned the correct way to pray. I’ve been attending Cypress for a year now and have learned so much! This month has been especially important to me because I’m learning how to pray correctly. If I won 2 copies I would give one to my mom who is also starting to rebuild her relationship with God.

  40. I would love a copy of this book! I am only working part time right now so I can’t buy as many books as I used to. If I won 2 I would give the other to my teenage daughter.

  41. I would give one to my 17 year old daughter and i would like to keep one for myself. Thank you for the giveaway!

  42. I grew up only praying memorized prayers. I am now quite comfortable just “talking” to God. I have a dear friend who I share encouragement with. I’d love for her to have a copy.

  43. christine pine says:

    Every Saturday we have insintary prayer. I try to go up to the front of the church to the microphone and pray . But when I get there I can’t get the words out of my mouth. I try to get all of my nervous out. Sometime I think when I prayer it sounds so bad. Thank you christine.

  44. I would give this devotional to my friend Brittany, who is also going through the same situation that I am. We’re both Air Force officers and our career field is so difficult in everything you could imagine, physically, mentally, and emotionally. I think it becomes taxing because of how many times and opportunities are presented where you doubt yourself. She and I have been such good friends for so long, that we have sought out faith and a deeper relationship with God to bring us through the most difficult and stressful points of the job. There are so many days when all you can do is simply say, “God I’m putting my faith and trust in your decisions and I trust the process in which you will lead me.” I have no idea where my life will lead but I know God will not forsake me.

  45. Hi Rachel! Renee’s A Confident Heart OBS last spring was my first online Bible study. There were many ways that she and the study changed my life and praying God’s Word was one of them. I also found that by praying His Word to Him, I began to memorize many verses of Scriptures that I loved and will always remember. If I won the devotional, I would give one to my daughter who is just beginning her journey in a relationship with God, through our Lord Jesus. I know that she would see the beauty of having a confident heart filled with faith and trust in Jesus!

  46. BJ Schram says:

    I LOVE the thoughts on praying to our faithful God….my struggles match this authors and I’d love to have a copy of this book for myself and for my prayer partner Diane! THANK YOU for your faithful, daily encouragements and love and pointing back to our Savior.


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